Interpreting Pain for Growth

Pain can be interpreted in a couple of different ways. The standard interpretation of pain is that it interferes with our life flow, preventing us from experiencing the lifestyle we want. This immature interpretation of pain is called dukkha — suffering.

The mature interpretation of pain is that it represents nature communicating something to us — typically that our ego is interfering with the natural flow of life and it, not the pain itself, is the source of suffering. This realization is called panna — wisdom.

Pain thus has two possible interpretations — one is dukkha, one is panna. The more instances we realize dukkha and panna are linked, the more transcendent our life.

Now this is all nice and good, but in real-life, we might find it impossible to simply ‘reinterpret’ our way through suffering with wisdom — it’s far, far more involved. Why? Well, let’s try and delve into it a bit.

Pain, especially chronic pain, physical and psychological, is often searing, unrelenting, non-stop, suffering, 24 hours/day. It requires a corresponding mind of such unrelenting diligence as to transform our perception each and every moment. That is where meditation comes in — not just meditation a few minutes or hours a day here and there, but a 24-7 meditation process that covers each and every moment, and micro-moment, during the day, whether we’re awake, asleep, eating, drinking, walking, talking, crying, laughing, drinking, smoking, relaxing, or sitting.

Ranjeeth Thunga
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